Jupiter as a Holy Helper

Ceremony and Ritual

H

e (Jupiter as a Holy Helper) stops all forces that would devour life, feast on innocence, and annihilate good legacy, fast in their tracks, for he is firmly on the side of life and all that is life-giving. He is Sovereign and Sovereignty but also a feckless and inconstant husband who knows something of error, mistakes, and screw-ups, giving him a particular fondness for humanity. He is Wisdom and all ways and all roads that lead to it. He is the great teacher, the guide, the guru. It is easy to see his story as one full of winning – except that he wept along with the horses when his beloved Troy fell. Easy to see him as nothing more than the most perfect example of patriarchal chauvinism except that all his sister-wife need do is dab herself with a bit of perfume, place a necklace around her neck, beckoning to him to meet her in a field of flowers and he is simply brought to his knees. He is the eagle, the all-seeing and all-knowing who nevertheless pays obeisance to the older and ancient Goddesses. He is the father who adores his children, especially his daughters. The husband who tries and fails and never let’s go. He is boundless and the bringer of wealth, prosperity, abundance, and good fortune. He delights in discovery, learning, and takes joy anywhere people come together to make ritual and ceremony. He is the law bringer, oath binder, and oath keeper. He is the one who holds the space and beats the drum for the entire drama to play out. He is the storm caller and hurler of the divine bolt of lightning that can inspire and enlighten or burn it all down. He is Lord, King, Emperor, Sovereign of All, and he is the lowest of the low. We find him in the faces of the downtrodden, those without a home, family, or prospects, the wounded, and this diseased, the ones that most would turn away from. For it is here he is able to see us best, testing our mettle…do we help when someone is hurt, do we go towards the ones others would run from, do we walk our talk and be welcoming and hospitable to those who have no place of their own? He bears witness to how we serve others, for it is that more than anything else that reveals just how sovereign we truly are. Jupiter as a holy helper

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Turtle Patrols and Holy Helpers

Foundations

M

iracles,

As soon as school let out at the end of May, we hit the road and made for South Padre Island for a few days of sun and sea before the book came out and life took on the fast clip that is summer with two kids. I had never been to this particular stretch of Texas shoreline before. I knew that it is a hot (and crowded area) during Spring Break, but I really did not know what to expect during the off-season.

There were many different things to look at and wonder over during the trip. For starters, the smooth, mostly empty, highways studded with poisonous, beautiful, Oleander bushes. Then, the border patrol checkpoints. But once there at the beach, the little yellow bus. She trundles up and down the narrow stretch of beach, jiggling and swaying with dozens of oversized brightly colored inflatable flotation devices. There we so many floaties, in fact, I’d bet her tires didn’t even touch the sand. But she also offered packets of mayonnaise for your ears of elote: roasted corn dusted with mayo, chile, and cotija cheese – a combination that might sound strange but that I swear is the way corn is meant to be devoured. Through all of these wonderings, what I loved the most was the Turtle Patrol.

A little known fact about many Texas beaches is that you can drive your vehicle on the beach. With a few exceptions, most of the beach in South Padre is not open to vehicular traffic. This is partially because the shore there is quite narrow. But it is also because this strip of land and one other further South into Mexico are the only breeding and nesting grounds for the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle – a critically endangered species.

Enter the bright little phenomena called the Turtle Patrol. It is volunteer run and amounts to people, from 20-something college kids to septuagenarians, driving up and down the beach in little 4-wheel drive vehicles with ice coolers and padded boxes. They prowl the beach looking for sea turtle nests and eggs. They do this because female sea turtles go back into the ocean once they have made their nests and laid their eggs, leaving the newly hatched turtlets (and yes, that is actually a real word) to fend for themselves. In happier times, this process worked just fine. But the problem is that now the beaches are not what they used to be. They are far more peopled (and trafficked), which means that all kinds of new threats – from careless pedestrians to off-leash dogs – pose danger to the turtlets bringing their mortality rate up to almost one hundred percent. The Turtle Patrol find nests, collect the eggs and then takes them to a not-for-profit rescue organization where the eggs are incubated, hatched, and then the turtlets – now bigger and stronger, are released out to sea.

As I learned about the eggs, the turtlets, and the Turtle Patrol, I was reminded of how magic shows up in the everyday and how easy it is to miss it. When we think about Holy Helpers, Divine Guidance, or spiritual allies, what often comes to mind are traditional images: a winged angel, a burning bush, a mysterious and powerful Goddess. Sometimes those are the exact Holy Helpers we need to see and commune with.

But sometimes – and perhaps even more often – the Holy Helper is different: he’s a gray-haired, seventy-year-old guy in a faded pair of board shorts who is tenderly gathering turtle eggs so that the smallest and most vulnerable of us have an actual chance. You’d miss him if you weren’t paying attention. The Turtle Patrol is the reminder that we all need – that helping is a holy act and it is not something to wait for. It is something we do.

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.